Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sooo.... What's Your Deal Breaker?!

When it comes to interactions with those we seek to date and hopefully find eternal companionship with, we all have our deal breakers. Whether it's something small like an annoying habit of chewing with your mouth open to something slightly larger like a disturbing political belief and outpouring you can't digest to something unchangeable (without dramatic knee-breaking surgery) such as height to something more eternal such as wanting kids.... we all have filters set up to ensure nobody with that particular deal breaker we loathe so much .. make it past the finish line into our hearts, into our minds, and into our lives for all eternity.

What I find particularly interesting about "deal breakers" is the tenacity for tolerance we have based on our prior experiences. Whatever we are accustomed to.. might not make it as a deal breaker onto our list but might be on someone else's. For example, my brother is drawn to girls who he classifies as smart but often ditzy. He attributes the weird understanding of such girls as something he is used to because of our mom and myself. This could be a serious deal breaker to someone else but to dear lil bro, is completely normal and even expected. On the other hand, one of my friend's biggest deal breaker (albeit superficial to the max) is any girl with a fanny pack. A fanny pack?! Yes. A fanny pack. If you're thinking what is a fanny pack... I will bring you quickly back to the 80's and a time when convenience and fashion merged and show you what a fanny pack is...

This deal breaker must have emerged from a haunting and traumatizing event in his childhood in which his mom probably forced him to wear a fanny pack on a family trip or something... but it destroyed his ability to ever tolerate the use of a fanny pack! What I always wondered was... if the perfect girl comes along, would he deny her because of a simple accessory she utilizes from time to time? I think not!

Other deal breakers are more serious. These include considerations of consistent family values, morals, principles and standards of living.

My standards have changed a lot. So have my deal breakers. In the past... I was actually 100% against dating anyone religious and by religious, it's inclusive of any religion - Jew, Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Scientologist, Unitarian, Kabbala-ian... etc, as long as they are religiously active. These days... as you can guess... it's pretty opposite of that. Yet regardless of the preference or desire to find someone compatible and on the right side of my deal breakers, the logic is the same. Not having been religious before, had I dated someone who was, the compromises for both of us would have been difficult to stomach, the conflicting wants and needs for time spent spiritually and temporaly would have crashed and at the end of the day ... we probably wouldn't end up together. So... why even bother with something that is destined for failure? By that same token, these days... I don't want to date someone who isn't LDS or isn't open to listening about it (and taking lessons with the missionaries and converting) because as strong as connections... or chemistry or even love (or what one thinks is love) can be... without the basic foundation of a relationship and desire to strengthen with charity, love, humility, with and a commitment to God, we'd probably have a lot of arguments and unhappiness at the dedication I have and the time I am making for my promises regardless of how parallel our standards may be or even his tolerance for my beliefs.

Unfortunately, some deal breakers manage to stick around and hence, my head still turns every time a tall white guy walks by and my eyes still dart right to the left hand for a quick scan of the ring finger. But despite the superficial deal breakers, I do have other deal breakers that are more meaningful and intended to help me find someone who is a C student. He who... compliments me.. challenges me... and commits to me. As such, this list can be exhaustive and probably attributes to why I am still single at 27. .... awkward silence....

In thinking about deal breakers.. I was in awe at the fact that we indeed all have some dealbreaker - small or large, petty or not. But how amazing is it ... and lucky for all of us.. that God does not have any deal breakers. He might not be happy with us doing certain things.. but he forgives us and through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we are all given the opportunity to repent and be forgiven of our sins.

I never really understood the idea of repentence Christians believed in ... until I started investigating. It's one of the first principles of the gospel and key to temporal and eternal happiness. What I loved so much about what I was taught with the missionaries ... was how it wasn't just acknowledging a wrongdoing but working to change your mind and heart to ensure you truly comprehended the wrong and would not do it again. In addition... it's not just about turning away from sin but actually turning to Him for forgiveness and help to not do wrong again by working towards living a righteous life that includes the resolve never to transgress again. And interesting enough... it's not just about doing... but wanting to do ... and having a sincere devotion to rectify a wrongdoing. That... then accompanied by faith in Him and commitment to Him ... makes it 100% easier than if you were to do it alone. 100% guaranteed.

Keep His commandments. He does not have a deal breaker. Just a deal delayer.

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